Venus rarely turns retrograde, so when it does it becomes an important period of time for us. This cycle is a good time to focus on matters ruled by Venus and what we can learn from them. For this reason, we will be writing a series of articles during this period examining the meaning of the various phases we will all be experiencing during the next few months.
The areas of life likely to be amplified more than usual during the retrograde period are those that Venus rules, including love, relationships, personal values and our personal financial matters. We could experience powerful internal shifts in terms of how we perceive or feel about something related to these archetypal themes. The shifts may or may not correlate to external events at the time they occur, but whether internal or external, they often lead to significant changes that will have long term implications.
Venus turns retrograde only about every 19 months and it appears to move backwards from the point of view of the earth for about six weeks. This particular retrograde occurs entirely in Capricorn so it will remain four months in this sign that rules the structures of our life as well as our sense of personal integrity. When looking at this celestial phenomenon, it is important to consider the larger cycle in play that encompasses more than just the actual retrograde period.
Following are some key dates of the cycle:
- November 5: Venus entered Capricorn
- November 17: Venus entered its “shadow” at 11°4’ Capricorn
- December 19: Venus turns retrograde at 26°29’ Capricorn
- January 8: Sun/Venus Inferior Conjunction at 18°43’ Capricorn
- January 29: Venus turns direct at 11°4’ Capricorn
- March 1: Venus leaves its “shadow” at 26°29’ Capricorn
- March 5: Venus leaves Capricorn
The “shadow” period, which we are in now, represents the degree territory prior to Venus turning retrograde. It occurs between November 17 and December 19, 2021. The reason why this is important is that Venus will traverse this territory three times during the cycle, first direct, then retrograde, then direct again. By looking at our natal chart we can see what area this sector lands in and discover what natal houses will be affected. This will give us an indication of what arenas of our life in which we will experience an intensification of Venus matters over the 15-week period.
This means that all of the Venus matters a person is considering or dealing with right now will be reviewed and require further adjustments to be made. It does not mean that one should hold back on doing anything, but that it ought to be done with the awareness that the process one is in is not complete and fully determined.
Retrogrades are considered review periods. From the time Venus enters the shadow, we may commence undergoing an assessment of what is truly important to us, what we value most. It can relate to something mundane such as considering (or regretting) a purchase, or be deeply philosophical in nature with respect to how we feel about the way we are living our life or even the nature of love itself. Issues that need to be dealt with are likely to arise such that they cannot be ignored, and furthermore it would not be uncommon for any effort we make to correct them to be met with delays or needed adjustments so that those efforts can be more effective.
The nature of Venus is one of attraction and repulsion, what we desire to have in our life and what we push away. By being aware of these movements we discover the internal values and priorities that govern our attitudes, style of relating and how we express love to others. Our behavior and motivations may not be entirely conscious so we need feedback from others to know how they perceive us. Venus can also express as narcissism so it is important to receive the input from others so we can evaluate our way of relating in any type of relationship or encounter. The retrograde cycle is a good time to assess our boundaries, i.e. what is ours to handle and what is another’s responsibility. We may discover our relationships require changes to be more equitable. When we pay close attention to the psychological dynamics of relationships, we can begin to make conscious shifts and express the more positive aspects of Venus, which are balance, harmony, beauty, and high regard for others. This is what it means to live in love rather than ego.
With the Venus cycle occurring in Capricorn, the review will focus on practical matters, things we need to manage, or tasks that need to be executed. Some astrologers consider a retrograde period a bad time to start anything new, but that may not be the case. It can be a great time to experiment with new ideas and test out what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes it takes trying out something to know whether it is consistent with our values or not. This is also how we can become more aware of what we need to work on. Questions evoked by Venus in Capricorn can range from “Am I showing up to my responsibilities and commitments?”; “Is there a better way to go about doing something that may be more stable?”; or “Are there things I need to work on so my relationships can be more collaborative and creative?” Venus might answer, “What is the loving thing to do?” but when in Capricorn, the loving thing could very well be about seeing things exactly as they are and finding practical ways to deal with any issues we discover. Living the truth in our heart is one of the highest expressions of personal integrity.
We would love to hear about your Venus retrograde experiences. You can share them in the comments section below.
By Jim Sher and Kimberly Maxwell